English Language Comprehension Skills
English Language Comprehension
Difinition of Comprehension
Comprehension is the ability to read and understand
unfamiliar text matter, to answer questions based on that. You will be presented
with passages drawn from a variety of subject areas, including humanities, the
sciences, latest happenings in society etc. The questions will ask you to
analyze what is stated in the passage and would have to identify underlying
assumptions and implications. Although nothing is still clear butmost probably
the passage length in CSAT will vary from 300-800 words. The passage may be
followed by 3-10 questions to check the thorough understanding of the contents.
The questions will be objective typewith each question followed by four answer
options out of which themost appropriate one is to be chosen on the basis of the
information given in the passage.No outside information or data should be used
while answering the questions and answers should simply be marked keeping in
mind the author’s viewpoints on the topic.
The passages could be wri tten in the following styles
Analytical: The analytical way of writing usually
presents the pros and cons of the issue at hand. It discusses both sides of
the issue and the author may after analysis, present his final viewpoint in
the end. The questions are usually about the main idea and the author’s
Discursive: A discursive style of writing is where the
author discusses various aspects of certain issues in brief and
superficially. Hence, the questions that follow are simple and basic
questions on theme and the facts presented therein.
- Argumentative: The argumentative style of writing is where the author
supports his viewpoint on an issue by presenting facts and datawhich support
his view point. Unlike the argumentative style, he does not present both
sides of the issue. The questions that follow aremostly about the author’s
tone and whether he would agree or disagree with certain points on the
issues as discussed in the passage.
- Descriptive/Narrative: When the passage describes a certain event or
phenomenon chances are it uses the descriptive style of writing. In simple
words descriptive style of writing uses story telling format. It is lucid
and easy to understand and is usually followed by easy questions on themain
theme or the facts stated in the passage.
- Use only the information given or implied in a passage. Do not consider
outside information, even if it seems more accurate than the given
- You are looking for the best answer, so be sure to read all the choices.
- If you don’t know the answer, try to eliminate some choices and then
take an educated guess.
- Because you may refer to the passage, don’t try tomemorize everything in
- Read the passage focusing on the main point or purpose and the structure
of the passage.